Three Political Voices from the Age of Justinian: Agapetus, 'Advice to the Emperor' ; Dialogue on Political Science ; Paul the Silentiary, 'Description of Hagia Sophia'
Peter Neville Bell
Liverpool University Press, 2009 - History - 249 pages
This one-volume translation, with commentary and introduction brings together three important works. All three texts cast great, if generally neglected light on politics and ideology in early Byzantium.† Agapetus wrote, c. 527-30CE, from a position sympathetic to Justinian, when he had still to consolidate his authority.† He sets out what an emperor must do to acquire legitimacy, in terms of governmentís being the imitation of God.† Read in context, his work is much more than a list of pious commonplaces.† The Dialogue, written anonymously towards the end the same reign, comprises fragments from Books 4-5 of a philosophically sophisticated (lost) longer work, setting out requirements for the ideal polity, based on a similar concept of imperial rule, with extensive comment on matters of current political salience but from an implicitly hostile standpoint.††Not only does the text reflect the nature of Neoplatonic political philosophy but it also penetrates with its ideas deep into the inner realities of the time, into the political problems of Constantinople during the first half of the sixth century. The third text was written by Paul the Silentiary to mark the rededication of the basilica Hagia Sophia, built thirty years earlier under the orders of Emperor Justinian I. Together the translations provide an important insight into the early Byzantine period.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
Agapetus Agathias amongst army Averil Cameron battle Belisarius Bell forthcoming Bldgs Byzantine cavalry Christian Chronicle church Cicero classical concern Constantinople contemporary Corippus Description Dialogue Dialogueís divine doctrine earlier ecclesiastical emperor empire especially Evagrius example factions Godís Greek Hagia Sophia Histories imitation imperial rule importance infantry Introduction John the Cappadocian John the Lydian Justin Justin II Justinian Justinianís reign king kingship kontakion late antiquity later Latin legislation literally Magistracies magistrates Mary Whitby Mazzucchi Menander Rhetor menas Miaphysite military Neoplatonic Nika riot notes OíMeara optimates Pagan panegyric patriarch Paul Paul the Silentiary Paulís Persian philosopher Photius Plato poem political science Procopius re-dedication reference reflects regime religious Republic role Roman Rome ruler sixth century soul Strategicon successor surviving Theodora Theophanes Theophylact Simocatta things thomas tion tradition trans translation victory virtue Wars words writers